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Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets Betting Preview

The NBA Finals roll on with Game 2 between the Denver Nuggets (53-29, 34-7 home) and the Miami Heat (44-38, 17-24 away). Denver took the series opener, 104-93, to jump out to a 1-0 lead behind a triple-double from Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have yet to lose a postseason game at home.

Sunday’s tipoff is at 8 p.m. EST inside Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets are an 8.5-point favorite, while the over/under total is 215.5 points.

What to Know – Miami Heat

Miami tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter of Game 1 but came up short after falling behind by 17 points at halftime. The opening loss was the first time this postseason the Heat did not win the opening game of a series.

Offensively, Miami is scoring 110.7 points per game in the postseason while shooting 46.8% from the field and 38.7% from the 3-point line. On defense, the Heat are holding opponents to 107.3 ppg, 45.9% shooting from the floor and 32.3% from deep.

The ball goes through the hands of Jimmy Butler offensively. Butler is leading the team averaging 27.6 points and 5.8 assists per game. In Game 1, it was Bam Adebayo that led the team in scoring with 26 points, while Gabe Vincent supplied 19 points.

The Heat are 44-56-3 against the spread this season and 23-28-1 ATS away from home. Miami is now 0-7 ATS over its previous seven games against the Nuggets.

What to Know – Denver Nuggets

The top team in the Western Conference looked the part in the opener and will try to stay perfect at home during the playoffs in Game 2. Denver, who’s never won an NBA title, has a great opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

The Nuggets’ offense averages 115.6 ppg thanks to hitting 49.1% of their attempts from the floor and 38.2% from three. Denver’s defense is surrendering 107.1 ppg to opposing teams, 46.7% from the field, and 34.1% from beyond the arc.

Jokic is the MVP of the playoffs so far, coming into Sunday’s tilt averaging a triple-double over 16 playoff appearances. The 6’11 big is scoring 29.8 points, grabbing 13.1 boards, and dishing out 10.5 assists per game. Jamal Murray (27.6 ppg) and Michael Porter Jr. (14.6 ppg) add outside threats for Denver, with both shooting near 40% from three this postseason.

Denver owns a 54-43-1 record ATS with a 31-18-1 mark inside Ball Arena. The Nuggets have covered the spread in five of their last seven playoff contests.

The Pick is In

After an exhausting seven-game series with the Celtics, it was almost certain there would be some letdown in the series opener for the Heat. Denver was ready to play, and that showed early in the first half.

With some rest and three more days of body adjustments to the altitude, look for the Heat to keep Game 2 close behind their solid defensive play.

The Pick: Miami Heat +8.5

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